December 12, 2017

Glorious, Radiant & Quiet

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:58 am by Broken & Brave

They say that when a woman is pregnant she has a radiance, a glow about her. She is beaming from the inside out.

The same is true when we experience the fullness of God…

It’s not anything that can be explained, only experienced. It is always very real, very personal and unique to the individual who experiences it.

The evidence of the experience is apparent on the persons countenance, much like the glow of the pregnant woman. It is a Radiance that comes with a heart that The Lord has etched His mark upon. Glorious Joy, Radiant Peace, a quietness of soul that gives Rest.

Long for it.

Seek after it.

You will not be denied.

-Nicole💛

“Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with Joy…”
Isaiah 60:5

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December 11, 2017

Last Dance

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:11 am by Broken & Brave

Align yourself into the rhythm of His Divine Dance. A playful and poetic analogy for walking, breathing, living, running and being still in God.💛

Broken & Brave

It is the last dance, the last chance to whirl and spin with glee. The song will end, the lights were dimmed, but will brighten again as the party comes to an end.

All of life is a celebration, a chance to dance about with freedom of expression that is the true you trying to get out. Break free from the things that haunt you and entangle, restrictively telling you what to do, who to be, when you only want to be free to be who the Creator made you to be.

There is a dance deep inside of you, that only you know of. There is a God in heaven who sees your heart because he choreographed your deepest desires with His creative love. He knows. He understands. He possesses the ability to connect with you in every way. He gave you freedom to dance and put the song…

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December 10, 2017

Intrinsic Worth

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:10 am by Broken & Brave

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
Matt. 13:45-46

A pearl is protected in the center of a muscle, covered by the shell of the oyster until it is fully cultivated and prepared. Once extracted, you have a beautiful jewel with intrinsic value.

I have a client who I’ve been training, on and off, for several years now. I’ve known her close to a decade. She is advanced in years and hates exercise, but knows it’s good for her so she does it. We have a marvelous time together and I make it as pleasurable experience for her as I can, engaging her heart in conversation.

This past week she was sharing some traditions and things she does for her grandchildren at Christmas time. I love this woman and her life story, rich with zest and love for her family. She shared a beautiful tradition with me how each girl, her daughters when young and now her granddaughters, receive a single pearl to save. As the years go by and the children grow they have enough pearls collected to create a strand to wear on their neck. Isn’t this lovely? Each pearl not only unique, but the story and season which each girl receives it will be a cherished and unique memory also. I’m sappy and sentimental this way. I’m more interested in the story and the sentiment behind a gift than the nature of material worth of it.

You are like a rare and precious pearl. The contents of your heart, your hopes, dreams and aspirations are like treasures hidden within. God knows it is a place of safe keeping. That’s why He has placed it there. ~Nicole

December 4, 2017

Inspired Life

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 6:53 am by Broken & Brave

Everyone who knows me knows my passion for health, fitness and nutrition and their impact on quality of life. I know it was God who stirred this passion and purpose in me. I didn’t play a lot of sports growing up. I wasn’t on a bunch of teams. No cheesy photos of me in a uniform. I cheered throughout high school and swam one year on swim team to stay in shape. But this deep desire was in me to be well, eat well, do well. I had no outside influence for this. My family does not share my passion for health and fitness. Not a coach, mentor or teacher telling me of my potential. I was almost always picked last or next to last for everything. My drive was all God, all spoken internal. I was 13 years old and was already thinking about lifelong wellness and disease prevention. Only God can do that. What 13 year old thinks of such things on their own? I never had mentors to pull me under their wing. In fact, most of my entire life I had the opposite. I was told I didn’t measure up, I wasn’t good enough, smart enough or didn’t do it right. For a long time I believed it.

I love to sprint for cardiovascular fitness and to stay lean. Almost year round I will squeeze in a quick 10 minute sprint routine at the start of my day. Most days I now use the track at my kids school. The grounds keepers at the school have a little girl who is sometimes there waiting for her parents before being taken to school. My first encounters with her she was bashful and hid away when she saw me. But over time she popped herself out to be seen, but still, very far away. But little by little she would come watch me run.

One morning I got to the track to feast my eyes on a little 8 year old girl, who isn’t in the best of shape or weight, out on the track running her sprints.

Every sprint I’ve ever run, every bit of effort to encourage another I’ve ever given, was in that moment completely worth it. I had prayed just that morning if God would please use me that day to inspire another life higher. I specifically prayed for that little girl and that she would be inspired by me. God is so good, so faithful, so kind. I still pray for that little one, she talks my ear off now. I pray that she would find her drive and live her life to its fullest. Blessings for a glorious day. Your life an Inspired Asset of Heaven.

As we run, we pray and God makes the way.
-Nicole

“…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…”

Heb. 12:1

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November 27, 2017

Well Spent

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:36 am by Broken & Brave

Life is like a coin. You may spend a coin any way you should delight, just like your life. But once you spend it – you cannot spend it again.

So, as this new Day begins may I bless you with my pen and God capture it and penetrate your soul and marinate it and season it and return it as pure gold, ounce upon ounce, added to your life.

Life is like a coin.
Spend it as you like.
You can only spend it once, so if you must spend it-
Spend it in the arms of love.
Spend it secured in Thanksgiving and Faithfulness.
Spend it with Graciousness.
Draw deposits from Heaven.
May the yeast of Compassion be woven and kneaded in.
Yoke your heart like a dove to everything and everyone you love.
Captivate the audience of others as though you were Lover’s.
Spend yourself tirelessly on  behalf  of others.
Never regret, never fear.  Goodness and Mercy are with you near.
The Love sent from above would penetrate you both when you are awake and while you sleep.
May you dream of every golden promise and know it is yours to keep.
May His Heart be your Sanctuary of Goodness, your Refuge and Escape.
Know you are God’s Super Hero and upon your shoulders does His cape drape.

There is no one else like you –
God will give you an increase of power for your calling, whatever your calling be, and the joy of soul to perform it well.

A life was sent from heaven and spent entirely for you. Because you are what He Treasures. May God continually bless you in abundant measure.

The Loveliness of Heaven Bless your day with a Golden Kiss.
Not one single blessing will you miss…

May your life be like a well-watered Garden.

~Nicole

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”

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November 14, 2017

the Power Of ONE

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:20 am by Broken & Brave

Power of One
The Spirit lay this piece I wrote several years ago on my heart this morning as I reflect with joy on a phone conversation I had with my oldest child last night. For a parent, for me, there is no greater joy than to not only see my children honoring the Lord, but to see them in tune with their spiritual gifts and how to use what God has given them coupled with their physical gifts, talents and abilities. Years ago, almost two decades ago now…the Lord petitioned my heart and asked something very grand on my life and my willingness to sacrifice for the King of Kings. He called me to a different kind of surrender. I agreed, with much fear and trembling. I knew the magnitude of what would be asked of me, but I craved nothing more than deeper intimacy with my King.

For several years after that decision the Spirit would move on my heart in the middle of the night and I’d get up to worship and listen to him. He spent years laying a foundation in me like nothing I’d ever been taught or seen and it was all things amazing. He cleaned out my spiritual house and spoke Love, acceptance and promises to my soul. But there was one thing He’d always repeat and I treasured more than anything else He promised and that was what He would do through my children.

As a result of my obedience we have travailed through some very difficult circumstances, but as my kids are near grown I look at who they are and how they think and what they see–both with the natural eye and the eyes of Spirit–I see God’s promise come to pass. I realize some of the hardest things we endured were pivotal in shaping my children into stoic warriors for Christ who rely just as much on the eyes of their spirit as they do their physical eyes. I am so touched, so moved, so proud.

Trust God with your children. Think of them with every act of obedience that may bring you challenge, difficulty or sacrifice. It will be worth it when you see the fruit cultivated in their life. Our legacy is our one true mark on humanity.

Be blessed today.. you and your children both.

~Nicole

Broken & Brave

“Be loving and tender to all.”
-John Wesley
(Ephesians 5:1-2)

John Wesley was the founder of the Methodist denomination. He had a brother named Charles who grew up to write countless hymns and poems. Both were the son of Susanna Wesley. Susanna’s husband was away on business much so she began teaching her children of the Bible in her own home on Sunday evenings. What she intended to be instruction in Godly living for her children, grew to become an in home Bible study to more than 200 people! Just think how God used this Mom to make a difference in her own family that exploded into something amazing for many in a day and age when women did not enjoy the same equality we have today. You never know how God intends to shape and mold your children or how He intends to use your parenting/instruction to reach the…

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November 8, 2017

Dusted off Dreams✨

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:16 am by Broken & Brave

I have been fascinated with health, fitness and nutrition since middle school…at least, middle school is when I recall it all beginning. Looking back now I see the Divine Sculptors hand in everything. All the things I did and tried having no idea it was a gift of Vision and forward thinking being released from inside. I didn’t think about it, I just did it. There was no internet or fast facts available at the fingertips for me to learn to track and plan my nutrition. I learned at a young age to study labels, read about health, I’d buy and subscribe to health related magazines. I’m sure many of the articles I read weren’t true science as I reflect in it now–but it had the foundation and got me in the direction the Lord wanted me going.

I’ve learned so much about myself and life through training. Fitness has been good to me. My love for the weights was immediate and grew in my heart to become a lifestyle. No exercise I had ever done yielded the results weight training did. I learned at an early age that for my petite structure I was relatively strong. Some of it genetics, and some sheer physics. A shorter lever has greater leverage when moving an object from point A to point B. How ever it worked, I was hooked and my love for the sport has been life long.

When I was a teen I loved tuning in to the Olympia to see the women’s divisions. I had a large bulletin board in my bedroom and I had a stationary bicycle. On the board I had a photo I clipped from a magazine of a fit female. I have no idea who she was. I just knew I loved her physique. She was feminine and beautiful, but loaded with lean lines and quality muscle. Even this, God’s Providence because in the 80’s it wasn’t so popular as it is now for women to lift weights and have any muscle. Everyone was doing jazzercise and aerobics.

JAZZERCISE AND AEROBICS!!!😂

But there I was, in my own personal spin class (before spin classes were invented) with my Walkman jamming and my legs hammering the pedals as I dreamed of seeing just how fit I could be. I think I’d get high on the rush of endorphins produced by exercise. It was my drug of choice. On Friday nights, in college and my early 20’s, when everyone else was out at a party, it was quite normal to find me by myself at the gym.

Imagine my surprise when five years ago, shortly after birthing my fifth child, I begin to have literal dreams of bodybuilding and competing. I dismissed it at first for all the usual reasons. But the dreams and call of God persisted.

What a journey it has been (and God keeps telling me I’ve only just begun). I’ve learned even more about myself as I’ve been stretched beyond stretched outside myself to grow to fit the new extended capacity of “me”. God right there beside me, encouraging me. This is a very mentally challenging sport. I have learned deeper levels of confidence in who I am and how God made me. I’ve learned how to be relaxed and comfortable in uncomfortable situations. I’ve learned even more about my body and what it can do. What an incredible machine our bodies are!

Bodybuilding is a dream I had inside my soul long ago. I didn’t know I’d ever compete as competitions as they are now didn’t exist at the time. But God had planted something inside of me for a later date, but He knew my growing and gleaning had to begin long before I ever graced a stage. Even now, I am aware God’s Purpose for competition is only a gateway to something else He has for me. So I continue to follow His lead obediently. I’m having a little bit of fun along the way…

Trust God with every dream or desire of your heart. He will carry you though every ounce of distrust or unbelief. He is grooming you for greater things. But we must remain still and quiet when He speaks. We must yield our soul to the heart cry of our Lord. He and only He can see the future. He gives us glimpses and He polishes and nourishes our ambitions and sculpts them to fit His desirable key.

Maybe it’s time to pull out some shelved dreams, dust them off and once again begin to believe? If the desire has not left you, perhaps it’s because the reality of the vision has yet to kiss you. Your life an open book…write the pages and fill it to overflow with amazing adventures that will make your heart glow.

Just a snapshot of my heart this morning. Was thinking on these things and felt the need to flow the ink and let my heart bleed God’s beauty as only He could deposit it within me.

Your life…sculpted and shaped by Heavens Divine Grace. Wear it well. ~Nicole💛

“No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” Romans 4:20-21

*Photo taken this past weekend at the INBA/PNBA World Cup in Glendale, CA. Master’s level Figure Division. First time competing in new organization. LOVED IT! Funnest show I’ve ever done to date.

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November 3, 2017

The Check List🔏

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 8:30 am by Broken & Brave

I tend to be task driven by nature. When I was in my twenties I began to realize a shift in my heart. I was noticing that keeping a list and scratching things off was very productive and satisfying, I also saw that the greater my list grew the more overwhelmed I began to feel. As my responsibilities shifted from only being responsible for myself to being responsible for my growing family I had to relearn a healthy balance in this. I began to lay my lists before the Lord. I began to seek His guidance for every day. I realized many times what was important wasn’t a priority for God. As I began to release grip of my goals and their deadlines I began to feel liberated, less stressed and more alive. I was now learning to experience Joy in my Journey. Fast forward to now–all who know me well know that if I’m invited to something or asked to participate in something (even if I’m absolutely wanting to do it) I always respond “I don’t know, I need to pray first”. Sometimes God asks me to do things my schedule doesn’t seem to fit and it ends up flowing beautifully. Sometimes what looks like an obvious “yes”, He says “No”.

Being God Sufficient not Self Sufficient means we don’t always have to work more to bridge the gaps. We just need to trust more that God is our Source for every lack.

“In his heart man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9IMG_7157

October 27, 2017

Extreme Fit

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:38 am by Broken & Brave

“…like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.” 1 Peter 2:2

When a person decides they want to become healthier, change their eating, get more exercise, they begin to make the appropriate changes for the desired end result. If someone wants to lose a few pounds and maybe tone up, they must switch their diet to cleaner whole food choices, increase their protein and decrease their refined carbohydrates. But to be able to maintain this one cannot simply switch hardcore right away. Our bodies are a big chemistry experiment and if you start eating large quantities of protein when you traditionally haven’t had enough protein you will have some intestinal distress for sure! However, when you’ve made steady changes over time you gain momentum, you gain self control over foods, your body and it’s ability to digest “meat” becomes competent and you achieve results.

The same is true with our spiritual health, strength and vitality. A person who is new to the faith in God must be like a person just beginning a healthy lifestyle change. They do a “beginners workout”. They begin to have pure milk that is easy to digest so to speak. God leads them toward greater victories in Christ. He slowly begins to incorporate harder to digest spiritual truths and concepts that would compare to meat as an analogy. They do not do it overnight. It takes time, dedication and focused determination.

We are all at different places in our spiritual walk with God. From beginner, intermediate, advanced and extreme fit…to borrow some fitness industry terms. As a personal trainer I would never place a client who has never eaten healthy or exercised on the same routine I expect of someone who has trained and eaten clean for years. But I can meet them where they are at and I can help encourage them along and give them exactly what they need to achieve and become all they desire to be as their trainer.

God is the best trainer and “nutrition consultant” of all. Trust Him and put yourself on a steady diet for he has written the best health care book of all! ~Nicole

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October 25, 2017

Kids with Grit

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:41 am by Broken & Brave

I have an eye to spot a Diamond in the rough.

Don’t you know that your children are diamonds in the rough? They can be. We cannot control outcomes, but we can do our part to ensure they turn out of noblest character, integrity; that they may become quality leaders for the next generation. Therefore, we must raise them and teach them how to discern, how to use critical thinking skills, how to problem solve, how to do for themselves, how to guard their hearts. If we do everything for them or hover over them as they grow it will only create a narcissistic, self serving person. The same result can occur with severe neglect.  It is not enough to love them, or spend time and money on them. We must invest.

Parenting is like a funnel. In the beginning the boundaries are small and tight, but as the child ages their boundaries begin to change and become wider, but still maintaining concrete absolutes. Kids need to know what to expect.

We are caregivers (early yrs.), then we are Coaches (adolescent yrs.), then we get to eat the fruit of friendship when they are grown. It’s critical for us parents to understand it’s not our job to be our kids friend when they are young. They aren’t going to always like us. But they will know that you love them when you implement healthy patterns of both love, encouragement and grace coupled with sound direction and absolutely clear expectations.

I dont have it perfect and I make mistakes. We all do. This is also why it’s imperative to avoid pride. Be willing to be transparent with your kids when you blow it. Own it. Tell them your sorry and then turn your own folly into a teachable moment on how to have better handled a situation. Your kids are resilient and love you. I tend to believe their respect for you will be even greater when you are willing to own your mistakes. It also breeds an environment for deep emotional intimacy. When we are prideful and don’t discuss the problems resentment insues.

Something I see sadly lacking in society is multiple generations of very wounded people who, as a result, have a low emotional IQ (EQ). People just don’t know how to be courteous or how to get along with others anymore. As a society, we seem to be offended by everyone and everything.

People with a higher EQ tend to have quality relationships and can foster healthy relationships with most people. They know how to get along and thrive with others. The more damaged a child is, the lower their EQ tends to be. It becomes very difficult to change this once the child becomes an adult. But all things are possible with Christ. Let’s be ahead of the game and raise great kids. Not so we can brag about how awesome our kids are, but so we can have competent and constructive leaders for the future. People who can think with clarity, make sound choices, navigate through difficulties and know how to continue under pressure. People who value others and are able to place themselves in the shoes of others– so to speak, the ability to empathize with the point of view of others or even understand the point of view of others. Perspective is critical.

Whatever the health of your relationship with your family, it’s never too late to cultivate a stronger unity. Redeem the time. Be Purposeful. Be Intentional. Make them a priority. Sacrifice of yourself for them, all the while never making them the nucleus of the family. They are a member and when each member is secure in their family position great families are fostered, bearing deep roots and live branches like shoots of an olive tree.

Hope this helps a few people. God’s been good to me in helping me raise my own children and He blessed me with two people who poured their all into my young life. I like to call them Mom and Dad. No parent is perfect, but family matters. Your family needs you and you need them. Time travels fast! Enjoy this journey while it lasts.

~Nicole*

 

*My disclaimer…there is research to support the things I am saying, but this is my blog, my perspective, not a research paper or proof. It’s merely something to ponder. If it satisfies any reader I have a B.S. Degree in Human Development with emphasis in education, cognitive development, and psychology. My graduate studies were in School Counseling and MFCC (Marriage, Family and Child Counseling). I’ve also received training in Biblical parenting. But most of all, I trust a big God who Wrote an entire Book giving wisdom about~ everything.😉

(Deuteronomy 11:19)

 

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